March Might & Magic Painting Challenge

I thought it might be fun to do my own painting challenge, so in the spirit of being able to paint pretty much whatever the heck you want, I offer the March Might & Magic Painting Challenge.*

Rules of the Challenge

  • Post a beginning picture of what you intend to paint for the challenge.  It can be at any stage of work-in-progress, from still in the box to partially painted.  It is up to you.  If you don’t have a blog, you can send me a picture at the email listed on my About page or leave a comment on this page and we’ll figure it out.
  • I will do at least one mid-challenge progress report, which you can take part in or not as you see fit.  I’ll keep an eye on everyone’s sites, who I know is participating.  If I miss your picture you can drop me a comment or put in a ping-back to my blog so I’ll see your update.
  • I’m going to close the challenge on April 3, 2020 at midnight (your local time).  Then I will do a final round-up post.
  • You can join in at any time and add more stuff, if you want, as the month goes along.
  • Models from any company, range, time period, scale, etc. are welcome.
  • Any questions or anything I might have forgotten?  Let me know in the comments.

Best not to let rodent infestations get to this point!

Magic seems kind of obvious:  anything … magical.  Might can encompass almost everything else.  Great heroes and villains are mighty, sure, but so are ordinary individuals of a larger band, mob, or unit too.  Tanks of course, but why not the mighty factory (or remains thereof) that produces such machines?  As for plane, train, and automotive enthusiasts, I’d say your models fit the challenge too.

Primaris snipers by Joe Lai.  Love those bases.  Check out Joe’s stuff on Instagram.

Some random person in a jump suit with a wrench and toolbox would qualify too when you think about the empire/rebel faction/whatever they are a part of.  Even abstract principles like Friendship or Anger could apply since the miniature in question is a single representation of that powerful force.  Anyway, you get the idea:  paint what you want for the challenge and I’m sure it’ll be fine.  (If not, see the footnote below.)

From The Battle of Borodino, 1812, during French invasion of Russia

As for me, I plan on completing my four WIP dwarves.  I will likely add more models as these guys start to look prettier, but for now I think I had better at least get to the highlighting and dry brushing stage before I start looking too closely at anything else.

I’m probably going to include the owl and complete my familiars too.

I am looking forward to seeing what other people come up with, and hope, dear reader, you too will participate in my first painting challenge.


* As John, 1st Baron Varnish, rightly said over here, the “Might” might stand for “Might Get Painted This Month.”  So there is another way to shoehorn models into the “Might” theme if nothing else works! 🙂

And lastly, I had to sneak in a touch of Nurgle: Wudugast’s lovely, little poxwalker, complete with bloated arm, certainly scratches that itch so to speak.  I agree with Faust, who said in the comments that it seems like we’ve stumbled upon this poxwalker in the midst of its transformation!

A friendly poxwalker by Wudugast of Convert or Die!

Poxwalker #17 (MAGAPPXWLKR-XVII)**

I decided at long last to finish up my poor, long-suffering friend, good old Work-in-Progress Poxwalker #17.  I guess it needs a new name now since this zombie is a WIP no longer.  How about Mechanical Arm Green and Purple Poxwalker #17 or MAGPPXWLKER-XVII to use something approaching a more official-sounding Death Guard designation?

Not sure why the silly cat felt a need to wander into the picture.

I didn’t tread into too much new territory with my newest minion, though the belly tentacles sort of went through various shades of purple and blue and purple again.  Oh, and of course I continued my usual practice of putting a ton of work into getting some small, fiddly, inconsequential detail just so, only to cover it with snot, grime and blood.  So there’s that.*

OTOH, toads and Nurgle go together like peanut butter and pus.  Yummy!

I continue to pick away at my four dwarves and hope to get them done by the Squaduary deadline of February 28th.  It is going to be a close thing and right now I put my chances at 50/50.  I am working on them every night though and even if I don’t make the deadline I’m going to continue to prioritize getting them done because I want them for my D&D games.

Speaking of painting challenges, I thought maybe I’d do one or two of my own this year because … why not?  I was thinking of something along the lines of next month being March Marauders and Might where the theme can be miniatures that are either singular, mighty heroes and monsters, such as a giant or a space marine hero/captain/whatever, or marauders in the sense of being despoilers, bandits or invaders.***

A very broad theme indeed, I think.  More on that next time if I decide to do it.  If so, I have a group of six Etsy bugbear-looking things with maces and halberds that seem pretty suitable, and if I’m feeling really squirrelly there is always the Abandoned Lonely Bloat Drone. that continues to languish away in my miniatures case.

Death Guard Symbol 125 wide

* In this case it was the little tri-lobed Death Guard amulet thingie depending from a cord on its loincloth.  I took great pains with getting the red and white bits just so.  I’m not sure if I should try again or not with the amulet on the next one (the yellow loincloth and black leather belt twin of this one) and then unsuccessfully try not to obscure my work again?  Knowing me, I probably will and regret it!  After all, a true mark of a good Chaos Noble is the fact that when “nothing else works, then a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.”

“I am 100% certain I’ll finish those dwarves by the 28th!”

** Hi John. This is the mandatory, pseudo-official Nurgle warning so as not to spoil that period of time you block out each day (or several times each day?) for your tea and baked goods-related activities!

*** They can be good-guy invaders or bad-guy invaders.  It matters not so long as the blood and paint both continue to flow.

Squaduary Dwarves WIP Update (and cat)

A quick update:  I’ve been picking away at my party of four dwarves that I’m working on getting done by February 28th for the Squaduary painting challenge.  I jumped in a bit late but I’m enjoying working on the project a bit each night so I’m hopeful of completing the challenge in time but we’ll see.

I think the familiars want to eat each other.  My money is on the toad.

I’m still putting basic colors on the dwarves, though I have gotten another familiar done in addition to the toad from last time.  So now our musket-toting wizard can team up with either a toad or a cat now!  I went down to the game store today and picked up some paint.  I want to try out the little red cloak tutorial from Warhammer TV.  I haven’t encountered many cloaks with the orks, daemons and such I’ve painted in the past, so this should be fun.  Fortunately, these cloaks and cowls look pretty easy.  Perhaps they’ll make me brave enough to someday tackle that Changeling miniature that has been lanquishing in my to-do pile for a year or more!

So the challenge ends on the 28th, and I hope to get a final picture up by then. Between now and then I plan on putting up a picture of poxwalker #17, who is finally done.

Paint Cat says, “Work harder not smarter!” ™

 

Squaduary and Toad Familiar

I decided that maybe I wanted to get four of my dwarves from last time done soon, rather than just picking away at them haphazardly until they are finished.  Such methods result in completed projects, albeit at a somewhat glacial pace.  The reason for my sudden alacrity is I want to run a one-shot Dungeons & Dragons adventure for up to four players using pregenerated dwarf characters.

So even though it is a little late in the game, I decided to take up Stepping Between Games’s Squaduary painting challenge as a way to motivate myself with a hideously looming deadline.  The idea of Squaduary is you complete a unit of troops and post your progress with the completed squad by the end of February.*  In this case “unit of troops” will be an “adventuring party.”

My Squaduary Attempt (Left to Right): Wizard, Cleric, Fighter, and maybe a Ranger.

I had to figure out what I wanted to do with the guy with the musket in a game where I don’t want any actual firearms, so I decided that he’s a wizard who uses it as a prop or “spell focus” (using proper D&D jargon) to cast his spells.  A little never-runs-out magic gem powder in the pan, a bit of prestidigitation producing a bit of flame and pow!  This time Magic Missiles for everyone!  Next time Stinking Cloud!  Might be amusing, who knows?**

Now all good adepts will agree that every wizard needs a familiar and it just happens that I have a pack of three gathering dust.  I thought the toad most appropriate for a dwarf wizard, though any of them would be fine.  Also happens I am partial to toads and amphibians in general so there’s that too.

Oddly, all those little scratches were only revealed by the camera!

I kept our magician’s familiar pretty basic, though I think it’s cute.  I thought the gold eyes came out better than they look in the picture, but I want to get this post up so I don’t have time to redo them.  I’m sure we’ll be seeing Toad again, since I plan on posting a WIP dwarf picture in a couple of days, so maybe they’ll come out better next time if I’m lucky.

For next time, I am nearly done with Poxwalker #17, and plan of getting a picture of my soon-to-be-completely-and-long-suffering zombie up soon.  (Toad will probably put in an appearance then too.)  I also plan on a quick picture of my current progress with the dwarves for the Squaduary challenge.


* Or the day before the end of February since we get a bonus day this year it being a leap year and all.

** If the idea proves popular, I might incorporate the idea of dwarf and gnome magicians using staves and wands that look like muskets and pistols while not actually changing any of the game mechanics.

Organic Ink 2 … and Dwarves

I was quite pleased to receive my author copies of Organic Ink, Volume 2, a poetry anthology from Dragon Soul Press.  I’m happy that the editors decided to include a bunch of my poems, including a longish one that I was hoping would find a home: “The War of the Jar.”

Yep, it’s February and the Christmas stuff is still up.

I read some of Hesiod’s work as a child and that was the second place I had heard the Pandora’s Box myth.  (I think the first place might have been Rocky & Bullwinkle.)  A few months ago, I happened to be in the middle of re-reading the bit about Hesiod’s five ages of Man in his Works and Days when I decided that it would be fun to write a longish poem set in the third or “bronze” age, and work in a somewhat different version of Pandora than the one I read/heard about growing up.

I’m thinking of doing some other Ages poems.  There is going to be an Organic Ink Volume 3, so if I’m happy with whatever I come up with then I’ll give them first shot at it since they were kind enough to print the first one.  That, and it would be fun (if I can pull it off!) to have all my Ages of Men poems appear in the same series of anthologies.

Thinking the one on the left is a wizard who casts spells from his enchanted blunderbuss!

I haven’t been playing Warhammer 40K, so I haven’t really felt much of an urge to paint more miniatures for that game in awhile.  I have been playing Dungeons & Dragons lately, so I decided to try some of those and ended up with these dwarves off of Etsy.

I wanted miniatures that were inexpensive and had some detail, but were still pretty basic and not hard to paint.  They had to not be fragile, which means being resin they can’t have thin bits that easily break.  (Especially since other people would be handling them.)  These guys at $9.99, including shipping, for a pack of six met all of my expectations.

The dwarf with the beer says, “Hey, you did say this was an adventuring PARTY!”

I’m not sure if these guys would fit into anyone’s upcoming painting challenge, but I am going to try and get the top four dwarves done this month or during March at the latest.  I am thinking of running a one session D&D game where a bunch of dwarves explore a dungeon, and the characters will be based off of these miniatures.

I also bought some goblins, bugbears and some other stuff from (I think) the same seller on Etsy.  I’ve primed the dwarves since I took these pictures and will prime a rust monster when I get home later today.

Next time I plan on getting the third issue of The Dragon Egg Gazette out.  After that, perhaps I’ll have some painted miniatures to show off.

The Dragon Egg Gazette, Issue 2

The Dragon Egg Gazette

Issue 2: February 5, 2020

A student newspaper that is part of my “Enchanted Forest” D&D campaign. 

 


The Giant Statue

by Staff Writer

Everyone knows about the giant statue and I’m sure many of us have taken a field trip and seen it.  I measured it myself a few years ago using certain calculations based on the length of shadows and estimated it at over 150 feet tall!  Here are five facts you may not know about the giant statue.

  1. The first recorded instance of the artifact being called The Cursed Statue is during the Vampire War which lasted from the late-1500’s until 1607, when much of the Enchanted Forest and even Dragon Egg was destroyed.
  2. It is believed that the statue was constructed in the Dark Ages and served as a focus and temple for an unknown goddess.  She was believed to give good luck, wealth and happiness to her worshippers in return for their faith.  This faith involved torture, ritual mutilation of themselves and others, and ceremonial sacrifice.
  3. People are warned against going alone to the statue.  Even touching it can be dangerous!  This newspaper was not able to learn details, but there are said to be secretive guardians at the statue site, who “protect the interests of the Enchanted Forest.”  We are not sure what that means.
  4.  Many believe that if the statue is harmed in any way the unknown, evil goddess will live again and bring her doom upon us all.  An inscription from the statue (source unknown) reads, “Death to any who defiles this place.  Death to Him.  Death to Her.  Death gathered upon death stretching forth my hand into the future and the past.”
  5. In his 1972 book, Points of Interest in the Enchanted Forest: An Adventure Tourism Guide, Doctor Forcrath Silverspur, writes that no one knows when the statue was built or why it is so large, but in the late 1500’s a group of dwarves attempted to bury the statue.  They failed for some reason and today the statue remains buried up to its mid-shins.

Tree Symbol Clip Art

Raising the Dead: Did You Know?

by Thulunil Ummair

Did you know that being raised from the dead is not as easy at it seems, and there are good reasons why it doesn’t happen very often?  First Priest F’Rhogar Goldleaf said that “The biggest hurdle in bringing someone back to life is the person must have a compelling reason to return.”  Normal things like loving one’s family, enjoying life, and so on aren’t enough.  Fulfilling a mighty oath or vow, an all-consuming revenge, and so on are the sorts of situations where a person might be a candidate for the magic.  Thus, “We try and speak with the dead first, cast the runes and perform other divinations to see if a deceased individual will be a good candidate for revivication.  In my sixty-seven years as a priest, I have only seen four successful resurrections and performed only one myself.  Our temple receives several hundred requests from within and without the Forest each year.”

Then there is the question of whether or not the Great Dragon will approve the priest’s request.  This is a simple matter because if the answer is no, the spell request will not be granted.  Fortunately our god seldom denies the request.

Finally, many people believe that if you cut off someone’s head or burn their body, then that person cannot be raised from the dead.  First Priest Goldleaf says that this is not true but declined to go into specifics.  He also denied the efficacity of certain methods we won’t go into detail about here for fear of shocking some younger readers.  He pointed out that these apply more to vampires but even then the remedies are not “universally effective.”

The First Priest ended the interview with, “Those who think that magic or magical beings follow universal laws or procedures are mistaken.  The belief that it is possible to penetrate to the Why and How of things is dangerous thinking, and has caused much suffering throughout the ages.  We’d do better to content ourselves with What, Where, and When and leave Why and How to the gods.”

Dragon Egg Auxiliary Forces Badge

Coming Attractions

  • A short interview with a ranger who has worked with the new special squad that was formed this year.  Also, other special squads from the present and past.
  • We learned about the Giant Statue this time.  What about some of the other points of interest in the Enchanted Forest?
  • Possibly some interesting art from a talented human artist from outside the forest!

Staff

Biri “Wondermist” Blackwing, Editor-in-Chief
Thulunil Ummair, Assistant Editor
Ann Wycoff, Contributing Editor
Your Name Could Be Here!


Classified Ads & Notices

  1. If you enjoy what you are reading and are in the Santa Cruz, California area and would enjoy a life of adventure in the Enchanted Forest, you may leave a note in the comments or send the DM an email to the address listed in the About page.
  2. Looking for help repairing a recently raised barn.  The people I hired got drunk and didn’t do a very good job.  Will provide food, and beverages will be non-alcoholic this time around.  Also, payment for work will be provided after the work is completed to our satisfaction.  No professional builders, please.
  3. Goblin family looking for situation in Dragon Egg and East Egg.  We are skilled at most farm tasks and have excellent references.  Ask for the Gloo Family in East Egg.  Please note that none of us can read.
  4. Our family would like to thank Burhe, Blase, and Fursel Moonspur, as well as unknown members of The Red Rose Society for rescuing our father from the Ogre Hills.  May the Great Dragon bless your lives forever!
  5. I represent a dwarven concern interested in the excavation of certain, forgotten burial sites.  Our latest project is the investigation of a site causing harm to the forest both by attracting undesirable elements and by the presence of certain energies or forces within the catacombs themselves.  Who knows what effect errant and misunderstood magic is having on the ecosystem?  Leave a message at Levar’s Eyeballs, West Egg or reply to the Gazette.  Sorry, dwarves and gnomes only.
  6. Editor’s Note:  There have been many ad requests concerning missing persons due to the recent attacks along East Egg Road.  The Dragon Egg Militia Office (DEMO) has asked that citizens direct all inquiries to them.  Also, we will not be publishing ads involving bounty hunters, vigilante groups, citizen committees, etc.  Thank you for understanding!

Cat Caught a Mouse … in a sense.

So, not too long ago I mentioned that my cat caught a mouse and I would post something about that on some later date.  Well, that day is here.  Here we have our two feline frenemies, Roxy and Wyatt.  Roxy, the fawn-colored, Siamese mix, is the focal point of our sorry tale of betrayal and woe today.*

Together in a rare moment of congeniality.

So I was working on something (I forget what) on my laptop, which I took out to the living room.  I have a desk there where I often write or edit while watching old movies or Youtube or whatever with my husband at night.  I got up to go do something and when I came back I found this charming situation.

My poor mouse!

It seems, according to my husband who witnessed the dark deed, Roxy jumped from the couch to a chair to the floor as she often does.  (She’s pretty agile all things considered.)  This time, however, she sort of used the corner of my desk as a springboard from the aforementioned couch to the aforementioned chair, and well, my mouse found itself in the soup, or rather my glass of soy milk.

Good as new along with its trusty back-up friend.

I figured my mouse was a goner.  Besides being in the soy milk, I have knocked it off my desk so many times that I had to put a piece of tape around it to keep the housing from falling apart.  But my husband, who is our resident Household Chief Technology Officer, thought it could be saved.  He dried out the mouse, did various other things to it – both arcane and mundane – and then even put a brand new piece of tape on it.

Much to my delight and amazement my old, soy milk-logged mouse was as good as new.  Heck, better than new, because it was cleaner and now had fresh batteries.

Thanks Roxy!

“You’re welcome, anytime, mortal,” Roxy says.

As you can see, Roxy was very concerned about the mouse situation and one of the/her human running about waving its arms and making high pitched, fluting noises (not chirps) and then running off into the kitchen.  All in a days work for our resident alpha Siamese.

Gold Cat Clip Art

So, quite a bit going on outside of cat-based shenanigans.  I have another book on the way, where some of my poems found a home.  I’ll post that when I get the author copies in the mail.  Also working on my next D&D game, which will be this Saturday, January 25th, 2020, and I visited a couple of local mystic shops here in Santa Cruz where I had a good time with such things as getting a tarot reading done, learning something about using a pendant (or wedding ring on a hunk of hair, perhaps, or whatever) for divination, and so on.

Be well until next time.


* Roxy has quite a vocabulary, ranging from polysyllabic, fluting chirps to the (my personal favorite) deep, echoing howls where if you are going about the house in bare feet you’ll feel the tingle of cat vibrations resonating up through the floorboards.